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  • Writer's pictureBlueHeaven70

Twenty is the new Eighty

Gen Z and their perception of the passing of time

It’s my daughter’s birthday this month. She texted me a few days ago to say it just occurred to her that she was going to turn nineteen, and that sucked!

You can imagine I was more than a little surprised by the comment and asked her to elaborate. She explained that turning nineteen this year was simply going to get her closer to twenty and that was “old”.

Yes, you’ve heard right – twenty is practically the new eighty.

Her comment made me stop and think about when I was her age and felt that I had so much life ahead of me. Being twenty for me meant inching towards independence and the future. Twenty meant I was “growing up”, not “growing old”.

I had so many plans for the future: find the job I loved, focus on a career, reach financial independence and travel; and maybe find someone to share all of this with. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan, they rarely do, and while I am now finally more or less where I want to be in my life, most of my twenties and early thirties passed in a blur.

I wish I could say it was because I was experiencing life: partying, drinking, smoking pot... but no, I was simply working hard, rushing towards a goal that seemed to elude me, waiting for the time when I could finally relax and start to enjoy life – looking back, I was probably only existing rather than living and I realise now that life doesn't wait for you to have your ducks in a row... time simply goes by, whether you are ready or not.

All of this got me thinking that maybe my daughter’s approach to turning twenty is not wrong after all. Maybe she has a deeper understanding of the passing of time than I had at her age and she knows that time is a precious gift that we don’t want to squander, not even when we are young and feel we have so much life ahead of us.

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